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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Help Your Clients Understand The Value Of A Local Digital Presence


How do you sum up the need for a local digital presence for your SEO clients when some of them don’t even understand what a digital presence is at all?


Try breaking it down into the simplest terminology possible. One option is to take your client by the shoulders, look deeply into his (or her) eyes and say, “If you build it...they won’t have the slightest idea how to find it.”


That’s probably the clearest way to communicate what they need to know about what you’re telling them needs to happen to keep their business alive. Marketing has become so competitive in the digital world that failing to use those digital channels effectively doesn’t just mean stagnation -- it’ll turn a company into a ghost.


Demonstrate Why Local Digital Optimization Is Critical

With at least 1.24 billion websites in existence, it doesn’t matter what your client offers -- they have some sort of competition out there in the world. However, while the internet keeps expanding, the end user has grown increasingly impatient with having to search through that expanse.


Consumers began to demand customized searches somewhere back in 2011. That’s when statistically important increases in Google searches with words like “nearby,” “near me,” or with a zip code started to steadily increase. Then, between 2014 and 2015, the demand rose an astonishing 130% -- an increase the likes of which no one had ever seen before.


Later something even more remarkable began happening: consumers started to expect local results from online searches without the hassle of having to actually express their demands. By the time 2017 rolled around, consumers fully expect Google and other search results to figure out the context of their queries and know their location.


A lot of credit for this has been linked to the rise of the mobile machine -- the smartphone that almost everyone these days has at their fingertips. However, the reality is that 4 out of 5 consumers are using search engines to find the local information that they need whether they use a mobile device or not.


Pro Tip: Demonstrate the importance of this information to your client by using your client’s own habits and observations. How do your client look up information? How does your client’s employees find the things they need? A real-world demo can sometimes cut through doubt or confusion even when statistics can’t.


Emphasize the Importance of Capturing the Moment

Capturing the consumer’s attention at the exact moment that he or she thinks to search for something has become tremendously important for a couple of reasons:

  • Google’s research says that 76% of people using smartphones for local searches make a visit to a business within a day.
  • Local searchers end up making a purchase 28% of the time.
  • Searchers captured in the midst of a micro-moment are focused. They have goals built around what they want to know, want to do, want to buy, or where they want to go.


Local searches indicate a desire to do business. The consumer isn’t just researching -- they’re ready to seal the deal.


However, you need to make sure that your client realizes a few other facts as well. For example, 43% of consumers shop while lying in bed. Another 20% shop in the bathroom. Your client absolutely has to understand that 8 out of 10 consumers are just as happy to shop online if they get free shipping.


In the winter, people will gladly stay home out of the cold. In the summer, they’ll cheerfully wait on Amazon Prime to get them what they want in two days rather than go out in the heat. Once they’re home from work, they don’t want to get out of their pajamas if they can get what they want to be delivered.


Pro Tip: Teach your client to do anything they can that lessens the likelihood that a potential customer will forgo heading out the door or making that extra stop on the way home from work instead of waiting on a delivery. Even seemingly small changes can make a big difference. For example, boosting site speed from 8 seconds to 2 seconds will boost conversion rates by 74%!


Winding It Up

The reality of the business world has changed. Consumers now look online for the products and services they need -- not at the flashy ads on television or in magazines. In many respects, this is good news for small businesses. Online marketing services are a lot cheaper than traditional marketing.


If a business doesn’t have a solid digital presence, however, it might as well be invisible. Potential customers just a block away will be oblivious to your client’s existence -- but they will find a competitor on Google somewhere. Your client can bet on it.


It takes some time and effort to get that digital presence rolling -- and even more to maintain it -- but it’s absolutely the best investment your client can make toward building a bigger customer base.

About the Author:

Kelly Shelton has over 20 years marketing, sales and customer service experience. He is a champion for small businesses and prides himself in helping them compete and thrive in a digital world. Kelly is currently the VP of Marketing for Boostability, a company dedicated to helping small businesses grow online. He manages a team that is responsible for demand generation, customer messaging and experience, branding, social media and all things marketing. His expertise includes search engine optimization, social media, content marketing, customer communication, lead generation and conversion optimization, to name a few.

Twitter - @kellyshelton32

Email –

Phone – 800-261-1537


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